tv CNN Newsroom With Poppy Harlow CNN October 16, 2016 3:00pm-4:01pm PDT
so glad you're with us. we begin with donald trump's claim that the u.s. election is rigged. he tweeted this election is being rigged by the dishonest and distorted media pushing crooked hillary but at in polling places. sad. claims like this are unheard of in modern day politics. here is what rudy guiliani said this morning. >> he's talking about 80 to 85% the media is against him. >> that's what his tweet said. moments ago he took to twitter writing a new poll shows the
election is close ashows that h clinton is down among female voters. a second poll shows clinton with an 11-point lead over trump. clinton suggests that political reasons made it necessary for members of congress to take action against wall street after the final crisis. we'll dive into all of it this hour. let's dig into trump's assertion that this election is rigged. let me bring in cnn investigative correspondent. do the facts bear out his claim? >> they really don't. if you take a look at this, donald trump not really providing any evidence to
support this charge that somehow the election's rigged. if you take a look at a 2012 investigative report by news 21, they looked at over a decade of data. they found ten cases of voter impersonation on election day. just ten. the report did point out while there's fraud and fraud does occur, the number of cases are very, very small. not nearly on the scale we're hearing from donald trump. >> republicans, some republicans who have supported him and also who have abandoned him are speaking out about this. what are they saying? >> that's right. we heard from mike pence, his running mate who seem to take a different view not nearly as tough of a view. let's take a listen to what he said just this morning. >> we will accept the results of the election. the american people will speak in an election that will culminate on november 8th. the american people are tired of
the obvious bias in the national media. that's where the sense of a rigged election goes here. >> we've also heard from republican house speaker paul ryan. he is weighing in. i want to read you what he put out yesterday. he said our democracy relies on confidence in election results. the speaker's fully confidence the states will carry out this election with integrity. we got some really tough choice words from paul ryan from donald trump just a few minutes ago on twitter saying paul ryan, a man who doesn't know how to win, including failed run four years ago must start focusing on the budget, military, vet, et cetera. all this criticism, poppy, coming a day before trump heads to ryan's home state of wisconsin. he's going to campaign there tomorrow. it's worth noting here, ryan, senator ron johnson, governor scott walker, all the top gop officials in wisconsin, they're not campaigning with donald
trump tomorrow. >> remember paul ryan has not pulled his endorsement. >> none, senator ron johnson and governor scott walker all still endorsing him but it does say a bit they will not appear with him in their home state. >> definitely focusing down ballot. thank you. critics are calling the rigged election claims dangerous and destructi destructive. what does it matter if a presidential candidate talks like this? let's bring in my political panel with me. thank you for being here. you dug into this big time on your show this morning and you opened by saying this is trump's biggest lie. why does it concern you so much? some folks say they are words. >> this is the foundation of the house. every room in the house, every wall, every body inside the house, we depend on the
foundation of the house. the integrity of our voting system. what donald trump says are taking seriously by his supporters. we have heard them talk openingly about a revolution. we're talking about a fringed kind of trump supporter who believes that and buys into that. even trust a small subset of trump supporters who believe the election is not real, is not valid is a big problem for all of us. >> let's listen to what one of his biggest name advisors and surrogates, rudy giuliani, former new york city mayor said this morning on cnn to jake tapper about a rigged election. >> there are a few places and not many in the swing states. there are a few places with they have been notorious of stealing votes, pennsylvania, chicago. there's been places where a lot of cheating have gone on. you want me to think the
election of philadelphia and chicago will be fair. i will have to be a moron to say that. i would have to dislearn everything i've learned in 40 years of being a prosecutor. >> he was talking about the 2012 election in philadelphia. tapper pointed out the republican party of philadelphia said that's a baseless claim. what does it mean that even rudy giuliani is saying this happens? >> i think what it means this year is that rudy giuliani is fully on team trump, which we already knew. i think that it's hard to over state the fact there's simply no reason to think that the election is rigged and voter fraud occurs on a scale that would affect the results. if you're going to talk about voter fraud in chicago, you're talking about going back to the 1960 presidential election which is over 60 years ago. it's simply not the case that elections are decided by voter fraud. the state of pennsylvania admitting there was no voter fraud in the state.
the question is bryan's right. this is something which surgeons general having people have confidence in the election. it's not as though there is any evidence of it. this is a simple rhetorical point that's baseless. i think for that reason alone it's something a presidential nominee shouldn't be saying. >> the question becomes what kind of behavior does talk like this embolden. it's getting a lot of attention. they are tweeting a 50-year-old man. he told the globe, if she is in office, i hope we can start a coup. she should be in prison or shot. we're going to have a revolution and take them out of office. there's going to be a lot of bloodshed. the globe goes onto say he placed a trump mask on his face and posed for pictures. the bridge from words to action.
>> that kind of description is a fringe view. many trump supporters would condemn that like many clinton supporters would. that's why this issue has to come up at the debate on wednesday. this is why he needs to be asked about it in a forceful way. the first debate with lester holt, trump indicated he would accept the results. now he seems to be waving again that the idea the that the polls will be rigged. polls are run on a state level by democrats and republicans. it's a bipartisan effort. it would be impossible to do so. there are people that investigate. there are ways to prosecute in cases of voter frauds when they do happen. they are rare but they do happen. there's a will the of systems ands and checks and balances in place for this. that's why the pressure is on chris wallace to bring this up. >> we know he's a phenomenal interviewer and will push hard
on both sides. what will the answer be. let's talk about 2012. this is a new line of thought or things that trump has said. when you look back at his twitter feed the night romney lost on 2012, he called the election a total sham. he said the electoral college was a disaster for democracy. he claimed the emmys were rigged on a different night. he said the process wasn't fair and the awards were all politics because like the apprentice didn't win. this is not a new line of commenting for trump. >> donald trump hates to lose. he doesn't want to lose. he establishes all these systems where it wasn't his fault that he lost. look at iowa. the iowa caucuses is expected to win. winning the iowa caucuses he was gracious. he said how ted cruz cheating and sending out messages of ben
carson. this is what donald trump does. >> what is he say if he wins? what does he say if he wins? that he won unfairly? >> right. he can't lose on this argument because then he just said the whole thing was fair and i beat the rigged system. we've seen him make this argument before. at the first debate, he was fairly close many the polls and that's why he was willing to say i will accept the results. he's no longer close in the polls. >> he hates to lose. if a sizable minority of the u.s. population doesn't accept the results, and if they are led by someone like trump who supports that idea and feeds that idea and promotes it on twitter and tv, then we all lose. >> you remember what al gor did in 2000. he conceded when the supreme court came down to their decision. he said the decision has been made. thank you very much. coming up, wikileaks releasing more hacked clinton
e-mails. how might this latest dump of stolen information impact the debate on wednesday. what question will be asked. i'll speak live with evan. he's running for president. he's launched an independent run. he's now in a virtual three-way tie in the red state of utah. how he could potentially play spoiler in the state. also, your money, your vote. we travelled across the battleground states to hear not from the pundits, not the candidate, just from you the voter. we'll take you to a swing state, next. you're live in the cnn newsroom. , into one you'll never forget. expedia plus rewards. earn points on over one million hotels, flights, and packages. yopantene expert gives you thee? most beautiful hair ever, with our strongest pro-v formula ever.
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wikileaks dumping another batch of e-mails. it's an enormous dump of thousands and thousands of pages of e-mails. a lot of them personal. a lot of them not interesting to the public but nixed in those some strategic conversations, inner workings of the campaign. things that clinton insiders probably don't want the rest of the world to see, but now we're all seeing them. clinton's campaign is not saying these are necessarily true. christina is here with me to break them down especially probably what is of most interest, these wall street speeches she gave to three different goldman sachs events. is there a smoking gun? >> no bombshell to your point. it is very embarrassing. essentially a lot of these little comments undermine her tough talk on wall street.
she's been on the campaign trail saying i rang the early alarm bells on excessive risk taking. i want to cut back on ceo pay. now in these vents we have all these little comments kind of being a little playful and also regurgitating some of the argument that wall street wants to hear. we have that for political reasons. if you're an lekked member of congress and people losing jobs and shedding businesses and everybody in the press is saying it's all the fault of wall street, you can't sit by and do nothing. essentially, a critic could look at that and say she doesn't really think these guys are responsible for the financial crisis. that's a big problem for her.
>> in her other e-mails she talked about needing the banking system to be involved in regulating itself or contributing to what the regulation would be. the question is how damming is that. if you're going to regulate an industry, you talk to the industry about that. they're part of the discussion. >> you raise an excellent point. if you look at the bernie sanders supporters who she needs to come on board, this isn't going to resonate well with them. he elevated these speeches. now everybody is paying attention and picking them apart and even her own aides were worried about these speeches getting out. it was even a point where if you dug a little deeper into these conversations, an aide said they should leak some part of the speech that was more critical
and that more critical part on wall street was planted in there so they would have something to point to. >> you could see that her people were concerned about this. >> the fact that they wrote something in the speech seemingly harder on wall street so that they could leak that to sort of placate the demands. >> yeah. it's quite incredible. >> thank you. we appreciate it. the third presidential debate is wednesday night. you can bet that will come up and wall street will be watching closely along with the rest of the country. cnn money correspondent has a look at how the debate could shape the trading week. >> you're right. the final debate is crucial for wall street. investors have priced in that clinton will win the election especially if republicans keep the house and senate. gridlock on a congress that doesn't pass major legislation are pluses for wall street.
investors don't like uncertainty. they prefer the status quo. the focus now is on state and local races but with the recent allegations about donald trump, it's increasingly possible the senate and maybe even the house could flip to the democrats and that could allow senators like bernie sanders and elizabeth warren to push for stiffer regulations on wall street and could make it easier for clinton to install big tax hikes on the ri rich. >> thank you very much. up next, more on those hacked e-mails from wikileaks. how could it impact the debate on wednesday. what questions will be asked how hillary clinton answer and how will she say yes. will donald trump seize on this new information? we'll discuss it all next.
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programs and job training and placement initiatives. learn more at yeson64.org vote yes on 64. today another large batch of stolen e-mails connected to the hillary clinton campaign went public through wikileaks.
it's a high-tech security breach that they are comparing to watergate. you make your own mind up on that. ryan and also the washington correspondent for the new yorker. let's dive into these wall street speeches. christina went through them. the goldman sachs speeches showing a different persona to these people than the public. i think the question becomes how much does that hurt her as she tries to get these sanders supporters on board and enthused to go to the polls in. >> it is a good question. there's no doubt that one of her weaknesses is with that segment of the left, especially milennial men. they have never been enthusiastic about hillary clinton. this will confirm a lot of the belief of those on the left that hillary clinton in private is a
moderate and was never really that enthuse -- enthusiastic with this populism. she was faking it a bit in the primaries. you see this through several issues in this e-mail. i think it could cause her a bit of trouble with that one segment of the electorate. >> another segment, when you look at union workers who trump has been talking to and trying to get on board, this solidly blue block. the clinton campaign hasn't said these are e-mails but they haven't said they are false. she was speaking to a group of union workers behind closed doors. she said talking about environmentalists and activists. they come to my rallies. you know the rest of it. you promise to never take any fossil fuels out of rt again. i say no, i won't promise that.
get a life. that's in private. in public, she comes out against keystone. >> some other e-mails suggest there's turbulence in the campaign against that. as secretary of state she seemed to indicate she was okay with keystone. here in this meeting with union officials she's trying to balance two constituencies in the democratic party. unions who depend on jobs and construction jobs in the pipeline world and the oil services world and environmentalists who are coming to her rally. to be honest, fairly extreme environmentalists if you're saying no hydro carbon should come out of ground again. most are okay with natural gas as a transition fuel. it's her balancing these two. as she did with black lives matter showing a bit of frustration and as she did with the young bernie sanders
supporters showing frustration with the young millenial left who she thought didn't get how politics works. >> thank you. we appreciate it. we'll see how it's brought up and how she responds. coming up next, the economy top of mind for voters across the united states. we hit the voters in key battleground states including ohio to hear from voters directly. don't miss it, next. an opening night on broadway is kind of magic. i'm beowulf boritt and i'm a broadway set designer.
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pretty far back. that makes you more proud to be an american and more proud to be a veteran. i served in iraq in tikrit in 2009. when i took the ancestry dna test, i mean a few results came up that were really shocking. 11% of me comes from the part where i had served. we all come from such different backgrounds that you never know. get the deeper story of you at ancestry. get started for free at ancestry.com. welcome back. we've been traveling across the key swing states to hear first hand about you in the election and how much your vote has to do with your wallet and your personal economy. what we found in the buck eye state of ohio is there are economic concerns for many people there run deep. >> a lot of businesses have
closed up. people lost their jobs. low income, poverty. hurting for jobs. >> economic pain shared from one end of the buckeye state to the other. >> once they get in there, they thinking they got a good job and next thing they're getting cut. >> reporter: theeds voters come from different cities and circumstances. they all live in state so critical, no candidate has won the white house without winning ohio since 1960. >> i'm 49 years old. i've voted in every election since i was 18. i'm disgusted. >> reporter: in state where unemployment is under 5% and more than 200,000 jobs have been added since 2012, there's still many people who fell left behind here. this neighborhood in cleveland, ohio was one of the strongest for president obama in 2012. mitt romney did not get a single vote from people living in these
homes, not one. people living here have been struggling economically for a long time and they still are. the question is, will they come out in droves for hillary clinton the way they did for president obama? >> hillary. >> hillary is the best candidate. >> that's a no brainer. >> are you as excited about hillary clinton as a candidate as you were for barack obama. >> i'm more excited about it. >> she's more so for low income people trying to build us up as far as jobs and education. >> reporter: rowena washington bought a home here. >> new houses. it's peaceful and quiet. there's been ups and downs but you are seeing the true american dream. i say they will be crazy not to get out and vote for hillary. she's definitely the person. >> reporter: there have been decades of economic despair here. there's a dwindling faith that politicians will help. >> i think the democratic
platform is saying the same thing we have heard. they've been saying for about the past 50 years. >> over and over since the war on poverty was declared? >> yes. >> reporter: he used to be in gangs. that landed in him prison. >> i deal with kids that have in hope. some kids have been shot. some have shot people. it's one of the highest crime areas in cleveland. >> this is? >> yes. >> about ten gangs over here. what's up? how you been? you good. i think the democrats are taking us for granted. the republican party ignores us except for trump. he's striving to make end roads but he's a polarizing figure. >> reporter: as for his vote, he's undecided but decidedly against donald trump. >> i do not like how he talks about women and incensensitive
our race and hit's despeckable he said about disabled people. >> i think a lot of people are incarcerated that didn't need to be incarcerated. >> reporter: many calling for change but they don't think trump can make their america great again. >> i just don't trust donald. >> he got money, that ain't everything. >> i'm willing to vote for a clown before donald trump. >> really? >> yes. with a red nose. i do agree with republicans sometimes but i don't agree with nothing that donald trump standing for. >> reporter: live fing in the s public housing we met james pierce who couldn't disagree anymore. >> i believe that hillary, slash obama is giving it away so people will a job can pay for it. >> you live in housing paid for by the government. >> there's circumstances to it. i'm trying to better that. as soon as i can work and get on
my feet, i'm not there anymore. >> reporter: that brings us to the second part of this chapter, 200 miles south. we're in pike county, ohio. this place matters a lot. not for the number of votes but because of what it represents. it used to be solidly blue but it's moving more and more red. in 2012, this was the closest county in country. mitt romney won by a single vote. just one vote. it's 96% white, largely blue collar and unemployment is high. these are exactly the voters donald trump has been speaking to. >> you're looking at a coin toss. >> a coin toss among union workers who have been solidly blue. have you ever seen anything like that before? >> no. >> many see donald trump as their best shot at getting ahead. >> he gets a lot of things that is amazing that he was telling us he can do for us. >> since 2000, ohio has lost
nearly a third of its manufacturing jobs. >> donald trump, a businessman, i like that about him. >> if he can run like a big trump plaza, he can run this big town and the whole united states. >> he's a businessman. what do you know about donald trump's business history that gives you the confidence he's a successful businessman? >> first of all, he had a television show. >> at a local bar after work the three of you. you make a good living. you can support your family, right? >> yeah. >> you're among the lucky ones. the quote, unquote obama economy has worked for you. >> yes. >> well -- >> am i right? >> in a sense but i don't think it's worked for a lot of other people. a lot of medium income. >> you're voting for other people. >> well, yeah. i'm voting to help the small guy. i still think i'm a small guy. i haven't seen wages increase,
jobs increase as much as what i thought everything would. >> we went for lunch at diner 23. chris lives on government funded disability benefits and she plans on voting for trump. >> what do you like about donald trump the most? >> he's running against hillary clinton. >> her friend says this economy is not working for her. >> i go to food bank. that's how bad it is. sometimes i stay to her home in the winter because i don't have the heat. >> she plans to vote for trump. >> you're a lifelong democrat? >> yes. >> you're voting for hillary this time around? >> no, i'm not. my dad was a coal miner. they put the coal miners out of work. >> that doesn't sit well here especially among union folks. >> you're angry at president obama? >> i'm angry for what he's done to our business.
>> donald trump says he's the one to bring these jobs back? >> donald trump is saying that. that's total propaganda. where is his merchandise made. what does he have to offer to american industry? nothing. are you telling me those are the best two candidates for the president of the united states? i don't buy that. >> we left ohio asking this question, why does economic pain from one town to the next push some people left and others right? >> they say money is the root of all evil, but that's not true. the lack of money is the root of all evil. >> what's the solution? >> people get out there and vote. >> it's your money, your vote. >> we should note that this special was filmed before the 2005 access hollywood tape of donald trump surfaced. we called back all the trump supporters we interviewed. nearly every one with the exception of just a few are still supporting donald trump. they say they will vote for him. coming up, a utah poll shows voters split between hillary clinton, donald trump and evan
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it showed a three way tie. donald trump, hillary clinton and evan mcmullin. if you haven't heard the name, you're not alone. he's a former cia operative. he refused to back donald trump and instead threw his hat in the race and is running for president. declaring his candidacy back in august. he joins me now. thank you for being here, evan. >> great to be with you. thanks for having me. >> of course. look, you guys are all neck and neck. you're all in the mid-20s in this latest utah poll. let me get your take on the republican candidate because over the last 48 hours donald trump has said several times he believes this election is rigged. you tweeted this in response. you tweeted donald trump is actively undermining our democracy by attacking its legitimacy just as putin does
and gop leaders remain comply sit. are you saying you think the entire republican party is attacking the legitimacy of this democra democracy? >> not the entire leadership and not the entire party. the party leaders are standing with donald trump even as he attacks the legitimacy of our democracy. they are complicit. they cannot escape responsible for this if they're going to continue to back him. they cannot escape responsibility for this if they're not willing to stand up and say what they're for and to even actively pose him. it's not enough for those who have condemned him or withdrawn their support of him. that's not enough. that's not leadership. they need to stand up and say what they are for and fight for that. >> it's interesting because a week ago, just a week ago a number of leading republicans like john mccain, like others pulled their endorsement from trump because of the 2005 access
hollywood tape that came out. we're not seeing many pull their endorsement because he's doubling down on these rigged election comments. >> yeah. that's right. it's just a total shock to me. as you mentioned, i'm a veteran of the central intelligence agency, and it's very clear that donald trump is helping vladmir putin undermine our process, our democracy just as he's done in europe. our intelligence servants are saying publicly this is happening yet the republicans are nowhere to be found in condemning this or pulling their support from donald trump. it's unacceptable. this is one of the many things that's unacceptable about the relationship that donald trump has with the gop. this country needs leaders who will stand up for the country and stand up for liberty and our democracy and for americans. right now we have a republican nominee who attacks americans based on the color of their skin, their gender, their ethnicity, religion, all of
that. republican leaders just go along. i just question the ability of people to lead if that's what they're going to do. >> one thing you can't question is the voters and number of voters that came out voting for nearly, 14 million, donald trump in the primary. you also tweeted this. you said if this election is close, then we can block both clinton and trump from getting 270 votes and take the election to the house. if that were to happen, that's a long shot, but if that were to happen, wouldn't you be concerned about most americans not being willing to accept the legitimacy of that, their voices being heard. is that the kind of election you want? >> i wouldn't say that. only 9% of americans voted for hillary clinton or donald trump. both candidates have historically high negative ratings. the american people are not happy with these two choices. if they were, this would be the last thing i would be doing.
that's the reality. in fact, the process that you just laid out which is not a strong possibilities as long as hillary clinton is dominating donald trump by such a large margin. this is a process that's part of our democracy. it's laid out clearly in the constitution. >> i'm getting breaking news in my ear. i'm sorry about this. thank you. >> thank you, poppy. breaking news into cnn. in iraq an offensive to retake the city of mosul from isis is now under way. mosul has been in hands of isis for the last two years. it is the terror group's last strongholds within iraq. ben wedeman is near. what do we know? >> reporter: just a few moments
ago iraqi prime minister finished a televised speech on iraqi television declaring that the operation to liberate mosul has begun. he said the offensive would focus primarily on forces of the iraqi anti-terrorism service as well as the kurdish fighters here and the operation will focus on trying to avoid civilian casualties. he called upon the people of mosul which, at this point, amount to between 700,000 and a million civilians to cooperate with the forces as they enter their city on this historic final battle for the largest, second largest city in iraq. >> as you mentioned, the second
largest city in iraq. also the last real isis stronghold of major, major area. when you look at isis, the terror group in largest context, speak to me about the strategic importance of mosul falling in terms of isis holding control. they've held control for two years. speak about the strategic importance for isis across the region. >> reporter: well, it certainly represents, perhaps, the largest loss in terms of important cities for isis to date. this was the largest city that isis controlled. it's where it was announced on the 29th of june the caliphate. if you look at what has happened in iraq in the last two and a half years, isis in early 2015 reached the high point in terms of its control of territory.
since then it's lost 50% of the territory it once controlled and only controls about 10% of iraq unlike before when they controlled cities like ramada, falluja. they are on their last they are on their last legs in terms of control in iraq. in syria, isis has steadily been losing ground. today, it was announced by turkish-backed free syrian army fighters that they had taken the town of dabiq in northern syria. of course, that town figures highly in a saying of the prophet muhammad. there, the armies of rome and the muslim world would meet for a battle that would mark the beginning of the end of days. certainly, what we see in syria and even in libya, as well as iraq, is that steadily, slowly
perhaps, today perhaps, the beginning of a more dramatic move, isis is being pushed back perhaps to the point, months down the line, to the point of extinction. >> wow. to hear those words, ben, isis potentially being pushed to extinction months down the road, as you've said in your reporting, this will be a messy and prolonged battle. it speaks to the significance of mosul and iraq, and the significance of it to isis' strategy. a city they have held, again, for two years. iraqi prime minister al abadi taking to television in iraq. can you speak to what the people of mosul, what they have gone through in the last 24 hours or so. i understand that leaflets were dropped from the air, telling them to stay inside and stay secure. >> yeah, the leaflets also included a phone number to call if they need help.
if they want to know how to get out of the city. the iraqi authorities are eager to avoid a mass exodus of the residents of mosul. because u.n. agencies and ngos will tell you they just don't have the resources to deal with potentially 700,000. potentially 1 million people rushing out of that city. what they've endured in the last 24 hours is they've been witnessing intense bombardment of the city and its outskirts. they have seen many isis fighters seem to have disappeared off the streets. they've seen, for instance, the prisons, prisoners have been released. not prisoners held for political reasons, but rather people who hadn't shaved, who shaved, smoked cigarettes, wearing western clothing. the prisoners have been forced to dig or help dig a network of tunnels and trenches around the city. we understand that food is in short supply.
there is very little fuel available for ordinary citizens. most people are simply staying at home, staying put. they've been instructed by the iraqi authorities, when the forces, iraqi forces, enter the city to put up white flags to indicate they are not combatants, it is the tactic that has been used in the past. prime minister said to call on the inhabitants of mosul to cooperate with the military, as they have in other operation, to drive isis out of the cities, and they should cooperate and inform the security forces if they know where isis positions are. so this is the culmination of months of work by iraqi intelligence units to try and lay the ground for this very operation that is going on. what we've seen certainly within the last year is the emergence of resistance groups that have
been fighting isis from within mosul. of course, they've been -- they're known by writing the letter "m" in arabic on lots of walls and doors. that stands for the resistance. certainly, we have seen a growing tide of resistance, of violence by the inhabitants of mosul, against isis. which initially was -- it should be important to note -- greeted by some residents of mosul who are unhappy with the heavy hand of the baghdad government. after two and a half years of isis rule, they seem to have changed their minds. >> ben, stha wiay with me. ben wedeman is live from erbil, iraq. i'm going to bring in arwa damon. she is literally hillside near mosul, iraq. arwa, i know it is difficult to see these operations. what are you hearing?
what can you tell us? >> well, we have been hearing fighter jets overhead. we've been hearing what sounds like artillery in the distance at this stage. the troop morale, whether the peshmerga or iraqi army we've been speaking to over the course of the last 24 hours are fairly confident at this stage. they do acknowledge it is potentially going to be a very long and difficult battle. one that they have been preparing for. but they do feel at the end of the day, ultimately they will be able to recapture the strategic city of mosul from isis. but they don't necessarily know exactly what to expect, poppy. you were hearing ben describing some of the activity that isis has been undergoing, such as the underground tunnel complex that is being dug. they're also anticipating similar isis tactics that they've been seeing in the past. such as booby trapped homes,
roads and lain lanes with road bombs. suicide car bombers and suicide bombers. isis is expected to put up a fairly significant fight, especially when it comes to the western part of the city of mosul. ben was also mentioning there the mosulbe battalions activiti, with the letter "m." we know especially over the course of the last few months, these underground, secret battalions have been launching small-scale operations against isis. thins li s things like targeted assassinations. they've also been, according to sources we spoke to a few weeks ago, doing things like digging up ieds that ices had put into place, and using them against them. they, according to what they were telling us, are waiting for a strategic moment when the forces are able to get closer to the city. to then rise up from within.
there is also a separate battalion that is at the ready inside mosul that is meant to rise up once the forces begin to enter the city. this particular battalion's role is to try to ensure the kind of chaos we saw erupt in baghdad in 2003 after the u.s.-led invasion doesn't happen in mosul itself. again, this has been a much anticipated operation. one that is very significant when it comes to not just trying to rid iraq's territory of isis, but also more prod lybroadly sp when it comes to the battle of isis in and of itself. just finally being announced by iraq's prime minister as having just begun. again, we are really, at this moment, in its first initial minutes. >> arwa, there are still a million -- at least a million civilians inside mosul. to give our viewers a sense of the magnitude of how big this
city is, a million civilians here, this is a city that's been held by isis for two years. it is strategically, incredibly important. speak to what this says about the obama administration's strategy in terms of building up local iraqi forces to try to defeat isis. what does this say about that strategy? >> well, the u.s. has been approaching this very differently to its previous presence in iraq. in the past, when the u.s. occupation was well underway, even while they were training and advising and assisting the troops back then, the americans were still very much in the lead. what they've tried to do this time around is ensure that it is an iraqi operation. there are not going to be americans on the ground breaking down doors like we saw in the past. they are in an advisory role. of course, what is very crucial
here is the assets that the u.s. brings to the table. what's been interesting in speaking to iraqi commanders is how this new dynamic has boosted their confidence. remember, the american-trained iraqi security forces were at the end of the day the ones that were very ineffectual and didn't stand and fight in mosul. they fled fairly quickly and left behind tanks, artillery, weapons that had been, to a certain degree, provided by the united states to the iraqi security forces that ended up in isis' hand. american humvees driven around by isis. throughout the course of the last two years, as the u.s. has attempted to rebuild the iraqi security forces, especially those that were part of the ninevah operations command, we also did actually see their confidence being boosted as they moved forward. in the beginning, they were struggling greatly. it would take them weeks, if not longer, just to be able to capture a village.
with that increase in u.s. air support, with that boost in confidence, and as they moved forward and got closer to mosul, they told us that not only did they feel, yes, more confident in their own capabilities, but that they also saw isis, to a certain degree, beginning to change its tactics. they no longer saw them employing wave after wave of suicide bombers. the assumption by top iraqi commanders, as what they were telling us, was that they believe that isis is really saving the best of its fighters for the this final, decisive battle in mosul. when it comes to the u.s. strategy at this stage, they really are trying to keep the emphasis on the notion that this is an iraqi operation. the iraqis are in the lead. the air strikes that are being carried out are being carried out in coordination with baghdad. this is not the americans leading the iraqis to battle. this is the americans trying to support the iraqis to battle. did they learn from the